Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The inevitable chore of unpacking

So the time came, and the time went. This blog served its purpose. It gave me a chance to experiment with things and see where I wanted to go next. I hope you enjoyed it, and if so, I invite you to continue to check out my writings as well as those of other Orlando Radicals at Orlando Radweb!

See you there =-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh, the stories you'll have to tell all your friends.

Have you ever seen a webpage, thread, or post about how some such thing is a "conspiracy?" I'm not saying that there aren't kernels of truth in statements such as those, but I don't know that it's helpful to state such things in such a fantastical, dramatic way. First of all, it sounds like you are selling something. If people are presented with facts and reassured against paralyzing emotions, they will draw their own conclusions and then *really* own those beliefs.

OTOH, something like this I feel can paralyze people who read it and don't know what to make of it or how to react. I noticed this with "Farenheit 911". Perfectly reasonable people would enter into this state where they were suspended between believing that Bush was part of this giant conspiracy to "get us", or Michael Moore was a completely full of shit con man. I'm sure they are back to 8 to 5 wage slavery marking time until they are dead.

We are socialized to internalize the belief that the "people on top" are better than us. Better looking, more popular, stronger, faster, and that all important human characteristic of smarter! Something like this piece doesn't really challenge that notion. It just adds "more evil" to the list of things they do better than us. Personally, I think it is hogwash.

To read some of the things people say (even Anarchists and other radicals), you would think that "the powers that be" were so brilliant, so deceptive, so ultimately in control that little to nothing could be done about it. If that were the case, then the fact that such a message even appears on "their" internet means they must have crafted that, too! OMG, I should turn off my computer right now and go fill out an application to be a security guard at my local Bank of America before the Thought Police find out!

I don't buy it. These people are not better and certainly not smarter than other people. I once heard Einstein made a crack about compounding interest being the most powerful force in the universe. These people had a little bit more than the rest of us a long time ago and over time and generations it has snowballed. The Fed, the Treasury, the OMB, they can't figure out this financial mess even with the power to make money out of thin air and regulate what people do under penalty of the law. Can you imagine these people trying to feed three kids between a disability check, AFDC, food stamps, and a late child support payment? But we scapegoat the "welfare mother" and we act like these others are some kind of gods walking amongst us.

They're the same jerks as the rest of us. I bet Ben Bernanke gives out some of those blankets with the sleeves for Xmas.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Invite some friends on your next trip.

So, the fine folks over at have approved a new project tentatively titled the OpenSociety Project. is a wiki farm that provides wiki space to projects which share information using some kind of open/free sharing license, and I recommend checking them out for your next information-sharing project, software-related or otherwise.

The purpose of the OpenSociety Project (weblink to be added soon) is to present the various ideas for the future of human society whether conceptual, experimental, struggling, or wherever in a format that encourages collaboration and derivative works.

Imagine the ideas of Noam Chomsky nestled between a Rainbow gathering you once attended and an ex-pat commune making a go in Costa Rica. Imagine creating and editing a page with your own ideas that could link to Kropotkin Farming Collectives and the Venus Project. Imagine people freely sharing ideas and then taking action thereby inspiring you to take further action yourself. Imagine the democracy of the future beginning now, and the days of chasing votes and referendums becoming a thing of the past.

I hope I have inspired you to check out and to stay tuned for more about the OpenSociety Project as I am able to play around with the wiki and have something worth looking at =-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pack some comfortable shoes

At this past summer's General Assembly, the Unitarian Universalist Association launched a campaign called Standing on the Side of Love. The name is taken from one of my favorite UU hymns and I think is a beautiful way to express the strength which comes from human compassion over domination. Of course, I find some of the stances the campaign has taken to be less radically-inclined than I might like, but as a UU, it is practically one of our most sacred traditions to disagree with each other and certainly the official positions of the church, LOL.

The thing about the SSL campaign is in its bold attempt to be comprehensive. It is not a campaign for gay marriage, or a campaign for gay rights, or a campaign for gay and disability rights, but a campaign to stand up for the rights of all people to be free from identity-based discrimination, oppression, and exploitation. Some of us have been so moved by the possibilities that lie within such an idea that we are in the process of creating a small group ministry based entirely around the SSL idea to meet at our UUUS church. One idea we've kicked around is to have it curriculum-based. I am thinking I prefer the idea of having it left more free-flowing where people come and speak about how these things affect their lives in a space designed from the ground up to support everyone's involvement rather than have the "who is appropriating space from whom" arguments that can sometimes spring up. I am hoping it can be a model for how to get people past the "hierarchy of oppression" thinking and seeing how seemingly unrelated oppressions intersect and lead to greater exploitation of people.

Big dreams, maybe. But it doesn't cost any more than thinking small ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Asking for directions in a foreign land

My friend Steve and I were on our way from a Food not Bombs food sharing to check on the Rusted Chain Bike Collective at the Audobon Park Market when we passed a gentleman walking south on Bumby. He asked if he kept going the direction he was if it was far to Primrose.

Those of you familiar with this area of Orlando probably know that Bumby and Primrose, although being a few hundred feet apart, do not cross - parallel lines being the way they are and all ;-)

I think this is where we are at as a species, maybe we have been for a long time. We are at once very close to something probably no one can fully predict, and yet we will never get there travelling along our current path.

I challenge you to think about how this applies to your own life? How are you a fractal of the larger society? Is there a different direction you wish your life would take? What is preventing you from just making a new and different decision that will send you off in a completely new direction?

In the next week, I hope to unveil a new project - the significance I hope to be tremendous, even if not fully realized or understood for at least a few years.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Summer vacationing in Orlando

You heard it here first. . .

The Southern Girls Convention returns summer 2010, this time in Orlando, FL!

Paraphrasing from the official website: the Southern Girls Convention is an annual grassroots meeting for networking, organizing, educating, agitating, and activism, devoted to empowering wimmin, girls, and transfolks in the South, and to furthering the struggle for social justice. Each year’s convention is hosted by a different Southern community and facilitated by local organizers. Next summer, hundreds of activists will meet for a weekend of discussion, action, and entertainment devoted to building a feminist community in the South.

This ain't your mama's feminism (and don't expect any "empowerment through pole dancing" classes either).

There are a handful of us forming a core committee right now. Interested parties should email marcillapalooza AT ya hoo DOT com to be involved. Members of marginalized communities (religious minorities, LGBTIQH+ [including F2M], wimmin of color, undocumented and non-citizens, economically disadvantaged, disabled, etc.) are strongly encouraged to take leadership positions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great deals on air travel

As much as there is a certain shame in doing this, I'm just going to indulge myself in discussing the latest internet meme: balloonboy. While I am at it, I may as well indulge my tendency as a US American to demonstrate my sense of entitlement to share what "should" happen as a result of this quasi-tragedy.

The central question is: "should charges be filed?"

The simple answer is: "yes". As a matter of fact, if the US justice system is worth even a fraction of what we pay for it (it isn't, and no danger of this occurring anytime in the foreseeable future), what follows is EXACTLY the charges which will be filed:

1) Falcon Heene

Charged with: "Being a six year old" (represents the result of a plea arrangement whereby charges of "contributing to the delinquency of ones parents: accessory after the fact" were dropped in exchange for the testimony, "You guys said that we did this for the show."

Results: In an ironic twist, Falcon has been sentenced to star in a reality show. Adding additionally to the irony, the show will not focus on his family, nor his balloon antics, but rather on his capacity to vomit on command. It will be cancelled in the second season, setting Falcon up to be a house guest on a future season of The Surreal Life.

2) Richard Heene

Charged with: "Committing an act of Americanism." Originally, there was to be a second charge of "use of a child in the commission of an act of Americanism", but it was never filed in consideration of how much funnier that whole "box" episode made this meme.

Results: As expected, Mr. Heene took this case to trial where he was not only found guilty of the original charge, but had 23 charges of perjury added. Mr. Heene has been sentenced to live out the rest of his natural life in a strip mall-infested patch of mountain town suburbia. Amnesty International is hoping to get his sentence commuted to something more humane such as lethal injection.

3) Sheriff Jim Alderden

Charged with: "Impersonating a law enforcement stereotype."

Results: Charges were subsequently dropped when the prosecution failed to collect enough evidence that the Sheriff was impersonating instead of actually being the stereotype.

4) the US media

Charged with: "Irrelevance"

Results: Sorry, we can't give you the results because first you have to wade through all the pre-trial, post-trial, live coverage, etc. But we can't even start that until we have a catchy theme and graphic for the lead-in. FUCK IT, WE'LL DO IT LIVE!

5) NORAD, the FAA, et al.

Charged with: no charges as of this time

Results: Once a people's court (a real one, not a "reality" one) can be convened, these organizations will be charged with "conspiracy to appear legitimate."